Alexander Guerrero Rumors

NL Notes: Cashner, Rizzo, Drew, Mets, Dodgers, Pirates

With the trade that sent Andrew Cashner to the Padres and Anthony Rizzo to the Cubs now over two years distant, R.J. Anderson of Baseball Prospectus takes a look at its background and how it has played out to date. While both players have proven that their talent plays at the big league level, each still comes with questions. Nevertheless, the trade appears to have been quite an equal swap at this point, he opines.

Here's more from the National League:

  • The Mets hesitation with respect to shortstop Stephen Drew relates to the team's valuations of him and internal option Ruben Tejada, reports MLB.com's Anthony DiComo"At the numbers he's looking for," a source told DiComo, "we don't think he's worth it compared to what we have." At this point, a trade of Ike Davis is a more likely outcome than the signing of Drew, says DiComo.
  • Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said today that a platoon was possible at second base, a prospect that Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times questions. Both Alexander Guerrero and Dee Gordon — the two likely platoon options — are converting from shortstop, and each brings lots of uncertainty to the table. Guerrero, the club's most expensive offseason acquisition, has reportedly had some struggles moving to the other side of the bag, but putting his right-handed bat in a platoon role would significantly limit his plate appearances.
  • In spite of a resoundingly successful 2013 campaign, Pirates GM Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle will both go into the season without a contractual assurance that they'll be around for another. As Rob Biertempfel of the PIttsburgh Tribune-Review reports, Owner Bob Nutting said today that extensions for the two are not a major priority, though he indicated that he'd be amenable to talks at the right time. "What they've done for the organization in good and bad times really is tremendous," said Nutting, "and I hope they're with the organization for a long time. My expectation is they're going to be critically important pieces of this organization as we go forward."
  • Nutting also indicated that the Pirates would still consider giving up a draft pick to sign a free agent, Biertempfel further reports"Certainly nothing is off the table," he said. "But at the same time, we need to recognize that a first-round draft pick is a meaningful source of talent for a team like the Pirates. We want to be smart and cautious." The Bucs have spoken with first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales, Biertempfel notes, though the extent of the team's interest remains unknown.

NL Notes: Guerrero, D’backs, Rockies, Peralta, Nats, Marlins

For the latest on negotiations between MLB and Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball on the posting fee arrangement — which has major implications, in particular, for highly-regarded starter Masahiro Tanaka — check out this update from Ben Badler of Baseball America. We'll round out the evening with a variety of links from around the National League:

  • Alexander Guerrero is dealing with a hamstring injury in his Dominican Winter League stint, tweets Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, and GM Ned Colletti indicated that the missed time could postpone the Dodgers' decision as to whether he'll play short or second next year. That decision — or, potentially, the inability to make it — could seemingly have an impact on Los Angeles' off-season shopping list.
  • The Diamondbacks are down on the free agent market, reports MLB.com's Steve Gilbert"I've spoken a little to our own free agents," said GM Kevin Towers. "But from the looks of where this free agent market is right now and where it's headed, it's not a place where I want to do a lot of business." Gilbert notes that the club has made an offer to infielder Eric Chavez, but that he is still mulling interest from other landing spots.
  • The Rockies are implementing a new player development structure, reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com. In lieu of roving instructors, the standard in baseball, Colorado will employ "developmental directors" who will each be responsible for a given team and look to prioritize skill development rather than minor league game outcomes.
  • Discussing the club's recent signing of Jhonny PeraltaCardinals GM John Mozeliak explained that a thin shortstop market left Peralta as the best fit for the club. While he said the club considered his PED suspension, he opined that "I don't think it's the Cardinals' responsibility necessarily to be the morality police on potentially future employment." As Peralta admitted his violation of the league's policy and paid his penance, said Mozeliak, "at this point in the game, there's nothing that says he can't go play or isn't free to go sign with another club."
  • Mozeliak also said that the club looked around at possible trades, but found the cost prohibitive, tweets Stan McNeal of FOX Sports Midwest. 
  • In a well-argued set of responses to fan questions, Adam Kilgore and James Wagner of the Washington Post took stock of a wide range of issues facing the Nationals. Among the thoughts offered relate to the second base position. The Nats are well-situated to add Robinson Cano, says Kilgore, and the move makes some sense. But Kilgore explains that such a scenario remains largely unlikely. Meanwhile, fallen keystoner Danny Espinosa has relatively minimal trade value, Wagner offers. His value to the organization, in terms of upside and as a competitor/backup option to Anthony Rendon, probably outweighs what he'd return.
  • The Marlins are mulling over a minor league offer to infielder Scott Sizemore, reports Juan C. Rodriguez of the Sun Sentinel. Certainly, Miami would figure to have the inside track on players looking for a legitimate chance to see big league time at second or third.
  • Miami has not only lured "superscout" Jeff McAvoy away from the Rays, but sources tell Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports that the club will add Mike Berger from the Diamondbacks in a vice president role (Twitter links). This makes for a quiet but outstanding off-season, opines Passan, who notes that the organization could look quite different if owner Jeffrey Loria gives new GM Dan Jennings more authority than was afforded predecessor Larry Beinfest.

Dodgers Sign Alexander Guerrero

WEDNESDAY, 7:20pm: The Dodgers confirmed the signing via press release.

TUESDAY, 1:15pm: Guerrero will indeed be a free agent following the conclusion of his contract and won't be eligible for arbitration, according to Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times. Hernandez adds that the contract contains a clause that prevents the Dodgers from sending Guerrero to the minor leagues without his consent after the first year of the contract (Twitter links).

11:12am: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports, also via Twitter, that $10MM of the $28MM guarantee will be paid to Guerrero in the form of a signing bonus.

10:48am: The Dodgers have agreed to terms with Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero on a four-year, $28MM contract that could reach $32MM via incentives, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez (on Twitter).

Early reports that pegged the Dodgers and Guerrero agreeing to a seven-year, $32MM pact proved to be premature. More recently, it was reported that he was nearing a five-year, $32MM contract with the Dodgers after switching over to agent Scott Boras, but bidding was said to be "wide open" once again shortly thereafter.

By talking the Dodgers down to four years at a similar (and potentially identical) guarantee, Boras has managed to commit only his client's age-27 through age-30 seasons. Guerrero, who will turn 27 this December, will be able to hit the open market entering his age-31 season, which should allow him to sign another strong contract if he is able to live up to his potential.

Guerrero batted .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs in 328 plate appearances in his final season in Cuba's Serie Nacional. That line, along with the .316/.406/.586 that he slashed from 2010-12 in his age 23-25 seasons (h/t: Obstructed View), was enough for Boras to compare Guerrero's power to that of Dan Uggla. While that comp should be taken with a grain of salt, the bar is set pretty low for Guerrero in the Majors, at least among his new peers; Major League second basemen slugged just .376 this year as a group. It should also be noted that Ben Badler of Baseball America did call right-handed power Guerrero's best tool in his late July scouting report (BA subscription required and recommended).

Guerrero also drew interest from the Giants, Rangers, Red Sox, Twins and Reds, but ultimately wound up signing with the first team to which he was connected. With this agreement, the Dodgers seem to have taken themselves out of the running for Robinson Cano, though they could conceivably move Hanley Ramirez to third base and play Guerrero at shortstop. That seems unlikely, as it has long been rumored that the team has no intentions of pursuing Cano on the free agent market, and partial owner Magic Johnson controversially confirmed that thinking to reporters earlier this month. Guerrero's signing also seems to point to the fact that Mark Ellis' $5.75MM club option will be declined in favor of a $1MM buyout.

Guerrero is the second major Cuban star to sign in the past week, as the White Sox recently signed first baseman Jose Dariel Abreu to a record-setting six-year, $68MM contract.



Dodgers Still In Mix For Alexander Guerrero

The Dodgers thought they had a deal with Cuban second baseman Alexander Guerrero several weeks ago, but the pact dissolved when it was discovered that Guerrero's first representatives were not certified agents.  Since then, the Dodgers have said that their previous five-year, $32MM deal was off the table, but that may have just been posturing.  The Dodgers are again one of a few teams in the thick of the Guerrero talks, people familiar with the discussions tell Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

Since the L.A. deal fell apart, Guerrero signed on with Scott Boras and the agent immediately opened the bidding back up to all major league clubs.  Now, the 26-year-old is only seeking a four-year deal so that he can once again become a free agent at the age of 30.  Many of the clubs in the mix for Guerrero are seeking a longer pact, but Heyman writes that the team willing to meet his asking price on a four-year deal will be the victor.

The Giants, Rangers, Red Sox, and Reds have also been connected to Guerrero in recent weeks.  However, Reds GM Walt Jocketty said yesterday that he expects the Cuban to sign elsewhere and a Rangers source suggested to Heyman that they're not making an aggressive push for him.  Heyman adds that it's possible the Cardinals will get involved with Guerrero this winter.


NL Central Notes: Choate, Wainwright, Guerrero, Taillon

As the Cardinals battle to represent the National League Central in the World Series, let's have a look at St. Louis and the two other post-season qualifying members of the division.

  • Left-handed reliever Randy Choate had his pick of the Cardinals and the Dodgers over this past off-season, writes Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. His manager, Mike Matheny, credits him not only for his performance on the hill but for mentoring the many excellent young arms that have cycled through the team's bullpen this year.
  • Starting for the Cards this evening was Adam Wainwright, who has been as important as any player to the team's recent successes. As MLB.com's Steve Gilbert writes, the deal that brought him to St. Louis about a decade ago could not have turned out any better for team or player.
  • Walt Jocketty, the GM who pulled the trigger on that trade, is currently at the helm of the rival Reds. Jocketty tells John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer that he is unlikely to bring aboard Cuban middle infielder Alexander Guerrero, who the club was rumored to be in on. "We scouted him extensively and had a lot of discussions," said Jocketty. "But I don't believe anything will happen."
  • Top Pirates prospect Jameson Taillon has been shut down after suffering a groin injury in his first outing in the Arizona Fall League, reports Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The injury itself doesn't seem to be significant, however, and it seems unlikely to have a significant impact on the club's plans for 2014. With Taillon now unable to add additional innings to his arm, he will have a base of less than 150 to work from next season. Of course, that is about the level that Gerrit Cole had to build off of this year. Taillon also will miss the chance to develop against AFL talent, but he has already advanced to the upper minors and should get more time there to start the season.

Latest On Alexander Guerrero

Cuban second baseman Alexander Guerrero is back on the free agent market after his engagement with the Dodgers was called off in September.  Now, the Scott Boras client is seeking a four-year deal from interested MLB teams.  However, some of the clubs that are in on Guerrero are pushing for a longer pact.

Heyman cites the Dodgers, Giants, Rangers, Red Sox, and Reds as clubs with interest in the 26-year-old.  Guerrero and Los Angeles were closing in on a five-year, $32MM deal last month but the deal fell apart for reasons that are still unknown.  The 86ing of the near-agreement also coincided with a change in representation as Guerrero left his former agent for Boras.

Guerrero played mostly shortstop in Cuba's Serie Nacional, but most scouts expect him to move to the other side of the bag for defensive purposes.  He slashed .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs in 328 plate appearances in his final season in Cuba.  According to Ben Badler of Baseball America, Guerrero doesn't figure to be a premium talent, but he does offer impressive raw right-handed power.


Alexander Guerrero Could Sign Soon

Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero could sign with a major league team soon, agent Scott Boras tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.  Boras doesn't expect things to take long with the 26-year-old since the teams that have looked into him are already quite familiar with what he can offer.

The Dodgers had him work out at their complex five or six times,” Boras said. “There are four or five other teams that have seen him five or six times.

Guerrero appeared to be close to a five-year, $32MM deal with the Dodgers earlier this month but things dissolved quickly due to reasons that are still unknown.  Soon after, the infielder signed on with the Boras Corporation and opened things up to all 30 major league teams.  Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports heard that the Dodgers are reportedly no longer interested in paying Guerrero $32MM and might not pursue him at all, but Boras told Hernandez that Dodgers international scouting chief Bob Engle visited his client in the Dominican Republic last week.

Boras compared his client's power at the second base position to Dan Uggla and likened his MLB readiness to fellow client Hyun-Jin Ryu.

There are just a couple of major league middle infielders in the free-agent market that have 10-home-run power, let alone 20-home-run power, which I think he has,” Boras said. “He’s a valued asset in the free-agent market.


International Notes: Marlins, Guerrero, Abreu, Twins

A look at the latest on the international front…

  • The Marlins made a bid for Cuban shortstop Alexander Guerrero prior to the 26-year-old's decision to hire Scott Boras as his new agent but were told that the bid wasn't competitive, according to Juan C. Rodriguez of the Miami Sun-Sentinel. The Marlins are no longer in the mix for Guerrero but still have interest in fellow Cuban Jose Dariel Abreu. However, the slugging first baseman would require an even larger commitment than Guerrero. Abreu is said to be looking for a larger guarantee than Yasiel Puig's seven-year, $42MM commitment from the Dodgers.
  • The Twins have signed 16-year-old Dominican prospect Alexander Vargas, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America.  Terms of the deal are not known for the right-hander, who stands at 6-foot-3 and boasts a fastball in the low 90s, a curveball, and a changeup.  In addition to the La Academia product, Minnesota has also inked Dominican outfielder/first baseman Lewin Diaz for $1.4MM and Dominican third baseman Roni Tapia for $550K during this signing period.

Steve Adams contributed to this post.


Bidding For Alexander Guerrero “Wide Open” Again

3:43pm: The Dodgers are no longer willing to pay Guerrero $32MM and may not pursue him at all, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal notes that the team's position may merely be strategic; they could be backing off that number simply so Boras doesn't use that as a baseline when negotiating with other clubs.

3:15pm: Just over a week ago, it seemed that Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero was close to signing a five-year, $32MM contract with the Dodgers. SInce that time, however, the 26-year-old has left his former agent, Rudy Santin, in favor of the Boras Corporation. Boras described the bidding as "wide open," writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who reports that the Red Sox, Reds, Rangers and Giants all have interest in Guerrero and are fighting the Dodgers for his services.

MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez tweeted yesterday that Sanchez is looking for an overall better deal than the previously rumored agreement. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti wouldn't comment when asked by Heyman about the situation, stating that he wouldn't publicly discusss contract negotiations.

The Rangers seem a curious fit for Guerrero, with Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar all already in the fold. The Reds would have to use him at shortstop or perhaps third base due to the presence of Brandon Phillips, despite the fact that many scouts have predicted Guerrero will have to transition to second base to play in the Majors. Boston has Dustin Pedroia at second base, and Xander Bogaerts projects as their long-term answer at shortstop. The Giants, too, are a curious fit with Marco Scutaro under contract, Brandon Crawford at short and Pablo Sandoval at third base.

Guerrero hit .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs in 328 plate appearances in his final season inSerie NacionalAs Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports pointed out last January, Guerrero OPSed .997 or better each year in Cuba from 2009-11. Heyman points out that Guerrero could have an impact on Robinson Cano's market this offseason if bidding drags on and teams believe Guerrero to be superior to other second base options, as Guerrero will naturally be more affordable than Cano.


Alexander Guerrero Joins Boras Corporation

Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero has joined the Boras Corporation and is now entertaining offers from all 30 Major League teams with Boras leading negotiations, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez (Twitter link).

The Dodgers were said to be closing in on a five-year, $32MM contract with the 26-year-old Guerrero as recently as last week, once the right-handed swinger was cleared to sign with Major League teams by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control. It's unclear if that offer still stands at this time, or if the Dodgers are even still considered the front-runners.

Guerrero also drew interest from the Twins, Reds and Braves in the weeks leading up to his signing. He's played mostly shortstop in Cuba's Serie Nacional, but most scouts expect him to have to transition to second base for defensive purposes in order to stick at the Major League level. Right-handed power is Guerrero's biggest tool, as Ben Badler of Baseball America pointed out in a subscription-only scouting report earlier in the summer.

Guerrero hit .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs in 328 plate appearances in his final season in Serie Nacional. As Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports pointed out last January, Guerrero OPSed .997 or better each year in Cuba from 2009-11. Because he is older than 23 and has more than three years of professional experience, Guerrero won't count against a signing team's international bonus pool.